Shooters Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok I took the torch to the bullets in the pan of water and tried to keep an eye out for a color change,still not sure if I really saw any .I took off the heat just as I saw them start to slump.
  I need to know if anyone can tell me what color I am looking for and how can I tell if the BHN has changed,I took one that I had supposededly annealed and one that had not and took a three pound hammer to them and could not see a difference in expansion between the two,also is it ok if the meplat got a little bigger
  The deer season here opens in two weeks so I need help please,oh the bullet is a 38-55 250gr.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Sir, I am sorry to inform you that you have things completely backwards!
Cartridge "cases" are annealed after work/use hardens them! This usually occurs after several to many firings .
Bullets (lead) are usually not "annealed", they are hardened through "temperature" at the pouring state or by using a blend of lead and aditives that produce a specific range of hardness.
 Although there are annealing procedures (bullets) for advanced shooters who wish to perform a specific task with a particular bullet they are best left to the "Very Experienced".
I do not wish to comment on your time frame for hunting season or your choice of projectiles other than to say that this is something you do prior to hunting.
Normally (realistically) a person that uses cast bullets would understand considerably more than you seem to  know. I would suggest  you consider a learning course by asking one question at a time, or just buy a box of whatever fits! Good luck.
changeling
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
7,776 Posts
Hi, Shoalbass:
  Have you read Marshall's instructions for annealing bullet tips in the Tips and Comments section? Look for "Soft Nosed Beartooth Bullets?" Haven't tried it myself.

  Test the hardness by putting an annealed bullet nose to nose with an untreated bullet in a vise, with a steel ball (a BB would do) between them. Squeeze until the ball is 1/4 - 1/3 buried in the softer one, them measure the diameter of the depressions. I'm afraid I'm a bit fuzzy on the math at this point.

Bye
Jack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I honestly don't understand the comments from this changeling person,but just to set the record straight I went back and checked the help tip on making soft nosed bullets.Anyone guess what this normaly (realistcaly) able to read person found? Noneother than Marshall Stanton THE lead bullet man says that his heat treated bulletsare ANNEALED!!! to reduce hardness and make a softnosed bullet.
  All I asked was for a little help with the process,I didn't expect to be insulted by someone who doesn't even know abot the process.
  I would still like to hear from anyone who actually knows somthing about the processand can help.I would also like to thank MR. Monteith for his reply and for knowing Normaly (realistcally) what annealing meant when I asked.
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,234 Posts
I've got a few spare bullets lying around, if I get a chance tomorrow I'll fire up the torch and see what I can discover.  Haven't done it yet but my guess from reading about it is that it's pretty touchy w/lead alloys, as they don't change colors much as they are heated.

Will let you know if I discover anything interesting.  I'm intending to try some annealed (softnose) .357's myself.
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,234 Posts
Couldn't wait... had been intending to try this myself so curiousity got the best of me.

Found 3 bullets leftover from a box so these were the test subjects (.40 cal 200gr WFNGC for the record).

Set one in a shallow aluminum tray of water, filled up to about the level of the crimping groove.

These bullets have oxidized a bit so not sure if that changes the way they look during the annealing process, vs. a shiny bullet.

Anyway... heated the first bullet till the meplat got 'shiny', which I took to mean that the surface of it was just starting to melt.  As far as I could tell the entire nose did not slump BUT the corners of the bullet nose rounded off a little, especially on the side that the torch flame was on.  Let it cool (just takes a short amount of time, 30 seconds is plenty).

This definitely softened up the bullet nose a bit.  It was easier to scratch with a fingernail and also with the steel jaw of a caliper.

Watched the other two more closely - there are some very subtle color changes that quickly 'run' down the bullet nose.  It seems like maybe the bullet does this twice before starting to melt - or possibly that I let it cool down and the second time may have just been a repeat of the first.  Anyway, without making the nose 'shiny' it seems like this works as well.  Just takes a few seconds.

Don't have a hardness tester so can't say for sure if one of the methods makes a softer bullet nose than the other, but I'd say for sure that it's possible to soften the bullet nose without it slumping.  Seems like from this limited experience that just getting a little 'shine' on the meplat won't hurt things at all, and should help ensure that it got hot enough.  Definitely quit at that point, though.

I'm sure Marshall (or someone else with more experience) will jump in at some point and help us out here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I am very sorry if you took what I said as an insult! I did not intend to impune the absence of your intelligence in any way!
I still stand behind everything I said on the technical side.
However, I am at fault for "NOT" asking you what was your intended purpose for the projectile out of your firearm?
Changeling
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
changeling, to further add that Beartooth's bullets are a heat treated projectile. This raises the hardness above normal hardness of the composite base alloy. Place the bullets in a pan of water to the crimp groove and heat each to anneal the noses to base alloy hardness. This will give an expanding bullet for thin skinned game if desired. At no point in the original post was brass or cases mentioned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
The comments on annealing brass I threw in for free. The comments on annealing bullets (3rd sentance I think), I still stand behind. I should have probably expounded a little more on the heat treating aspect of hardening bullets. What you say is true I believe it states that the Beartooth bullets are heat hardened somewhere in there literature on the web site. They can be heat treated to a fairly high level, but will detereiate to around 21 BRN (give ot take) over time, this is still a very hard bullet at that BRN.
As for annealing the nose of a good cast bullet to make a softnose bullet which you say is better on soft skinned game, you are mistaken, in my opinion. I have shot several deer and quite a few small animals with soft nosed bullets and would not dream of going back to them after using LBT style hard cast bulets.
Changeling
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Englander -
If you will log on to www.sixgunner.com and scroll down to Guest Speakers you will find an article titled A METHOD OF DETERMINING THE PERCENTAGE OF ANTIMONY IN LINOTYPE-LEAD ALLOYS AND THEIR BHN'S.  You will find this to be a lot of help in determining the BHN of lead alloys that you do not know the BHN of.  You'll also see my e-mail address in there.  Feel free to ask any questions you might have on this article or anything else dealing with cast bullets.  tbc
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top